Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Gordon Robinson | Apartheid needed for cricket?

Published:Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | 8:00 AM

Which genius planned our cricketing calendar so the Indian Test tour clashed with CPL?

Today, with T20 the flavour of the month, that's stupidity squared. Also, to call that third XI sent to the slaughter a West Indies Test team is an insult to the likes of Renford Pinnock, Albert Padmore, Mark Neita, Irving Shillingford, Ralston Otto and Sam or Delroy Morgan who, in the glory days, were ignored or given the odd 'pity' game.

Cricket, lovely cricket;

at Lord's where I saw it.

Cricket, lovely cricket;

at Lord's where I saw it.

Yardley tried his best

Goddard won the test.

They gave the crowd plenty fun.

The second Test and West Indies won.

Chorus: With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

It's time to restructure cricket's annual calendar to devote three months to Tests; six to limited-overs cricket. Anything else is Test cricket suicide. Test matches, urgently requiring revamping to regain relevance, could be reduced to four days; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. daily; one break 6:30-7.30; 120 overs per first innings; 90 per second innings.

The King was there well attire

so they started with Rae and Stollmeyer.

Stolly was hitting balls 'round di boundary

But Wardle stopped him at twenty.

Rae had confidence

so he put up a strong defence.

He saw the King was waiting to see

so he gave him a century.

[Chorus]

Tests should be played within zones. Ten Test nations could be joined by Kenya, Canada, USA, Ireland, Afghanistan and Netherlands, then divided into four zones: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka (ICC East); Australia/South Africa/

New Zealand/Zimbabwe (South); West Indies/Canada/

USA/Afghanistan (odd man, out geographically) West; and England/Ireland/Kenya/Nether-lands (North).

West Indies first innings total

was three-twenty-six just as usual.

When Bedser bowled Christiani,

di whole thing collapse quite easy.

England then went on

and made one hundred and fifty-one.

West Indies then had two-twenty lead

Goddard said, 'That is nice indeed.'

[Chorus]

Each zone would play a home-away round-robin, then each zone's top two could contest knockout play-offs. The last two standing would play for the Test World Championship every year in a traditional Test match played to a finish. Folks, like it or not, Test cricket needs jazzing up. This tournament can easily be completed in three months, giving players three months off each year to relax or play domestic cricket.

Yardley wasn't broken-hearted

when di second innings started.

Jenkins was like a target

getting the first five into his basket.

But Gomez broke him down

while Walcott lick dem around.

He was not out for one-sixty-eight,

leaving Yardley to contemplate.

Chorus: The bowling was superfine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

 

LAST CHANCE

 

ICC, devise and implement a system of cricketing apartheid NOW before Test cricket becomes another spiked head on Game of Thrones. Last chance! Adjust or die.

West Indies was feeling homely.

Their audience had dem happy.

When Washbrook's century had ended,

West Indies' voices all blended.

Hats went in di air;

People shout and jump without fear.

So at Lord's was the scenery.

It bound to go down in history.

Chorus: After all was said and done

Second Test and West Indies won!

We've enjoyed the remarkable journey since that magnificent first Test win at Lord's (1950) that inspired Trinidadian Egbert Moore (aka Lord Beginner), accompanied by the Calypso Rhythm Kings, to record this most famous sporting calypso. Although Moore is given writing credits, the original composer was Lord Kitchener.

We remember Ramadhin and Valentine's dazzling deeds ('those little pals of mine'); Learie Constantine's pheno-menal bowling, fielding, hard-hitting batting; Sobers and Kanhai's breathtaking brilliance; Hall and Griffiths' fearsome fast bowling; and Lance Gibbs' genius.

We revelled in owning the world's greatest ever sports team, winning the first two cricket World Cups. We were enthralled by Greenidge, Haynes, Fredericks, Rowe, Richards and Kallicharran's dominance. We were ecstatic as Roberts-Holding made Bishen Singh Bedi wave the white flag at Sabina; Geoff Boycott appear a novice at Kensington; and Tony Greig 'grovel' at the Oval. Now, West Indies play Tests to empty stadia and embarrassing epithets from frustrated fans.

Speaking of last chances, will the chattering classes please leave Winfried Sch‰fer alone? He's Jamaica's best football coach since Jorge Penna and has raised the Reggae Boyz's level of play exponentially. His job isn't to win Copa America. It's to qualify for Russia 2018, for which objective that tournament was the best possible prep.

So, impatient, ignorant talkers-for-a-living, please stop yapping and let Sch‰fer do what's already a difficult job, but you're making impossible. It's almost as if you want Jamaica to fail. Cho, man!

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.